I am a hopeless book collector, even cookbooks I collect.So when the Iraqi Family Cookbook got edited, revamped, and republished, I had to have it.
And it was no disappointment. The quality of the book and contents have vastly improved this time around.
This date molasses halawa (حلاوة دبس التمر) recipe is adapted from there. They also have a blog, but I seem to detect some inconsistencies in the recipes. Anyways, the way I made this halawa, everyone liked it. I did not however get the silky smooth results promised, and I suspect the picture in the book had alot more butter than the recipe mentioned. I beat the cooked halawa, while still warm, in the food processor to smooth it out, but the taste was great either way. A wonderful sweet just in time for Ramadan menu planning!
1/2 cup butter
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup date molasses
In a heavy pot melt the butter and add the flour.
Keep tossing the flour over medium-high heat for a good 15 minutes until the blond flour (from the butter) begins to take on a golden brown hue.
About 5 minutes before the flour is done, in a separate saucepan mix the sugar, water, and date molasses and slowly heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is close to boiling.
Add the date mixture to the flour mixture over low heat and stir vigorously until it is smooth and silky.
If, like me, your arm cannot stir vigorously, the by all means do what I did and plop the mixture into a food processor and let it beat it smooth in seconds.
To serve, either press the mixture into a serving dish, or form into balls.
Top with whatever garnishes you want: all forms of nuts, coconut, dried fruits…